Thursday, June 30, 2016

Where have we been!!!????

So, it's been 4 months or so since you last saw anything from either of us on's been a little busy!  The Prairie Pinner and the Lil' One made the move out to the Homestead in April, and we've been busy getting our new life in the west set up.  We haven't forgotten about all of you though, and here's a little taste of what we've been up to!

Here at The Homestead there's been lots of work to do.  We've been steadily accumulating projects and supplies over the last few months, and after some unexpected delays we finally have made some progress!  Our landlord was gracious enough to give us permission to do some major work in the backyard to look after an old deck and to get it into a usable condition for the future.  So, we set to work on a recent weekend!
This was what we were dealing with.  A beautiful deck had begun to rot and needed some major TLC to make it safe and usable again.
A few hundred dollars worth of supplies later, we were ready to start!
There was lots of Demo to be done, and some help from an elder statesman made the work go a lot easier!

After a day and a half, the deck was down and the fire pit was ready for its inaugural burn!

So, that's what we've been up to out at The Homestead, and there's more projects on the go, so expect to see more from us soon!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Back to the Books! Pt 1

Looks like Hubs isn't the only one beefing up his knowledge with some schooling these days. I have decided it is time to expand some of my horizons ( and get a bit better at this whole blogging thing). Let's face it ladies and gentlemen! By the time our kids are going to be in school, or in High School, computer sciences will be so much more than 'this is a computer', 'play games', and 'hope you have learned all there is to do with computers', which I felt that my school was like. If the school system in the prairies have not adopted a more in depth Computer Sciences program by the time C is in school, I have long ago made the decision that I myself will have to teach her. You guessed it, I will admit that I am certainly passionate about this topic, as you can see. So many jobs are becoming more and more computer reliant, meaning that the future generations should know more about how the internet, computers, and everything like that works to ensure they will have a better chance at employment in the future.

Yeah, I am that mom. The mom who's kid is still in diapers, and still worrying about their future every day, and hoping that I can set her with the basic foundations of also helping her decide what she really wants to do with her future. So that means Mama needs to buck up and learn :)

I got the chance to learn Javascript by a company called Simply Coding, and I jumped on the opportunity. Sure, it benefits do also help me with my resume as well, but totally 100% for the kid right? ;) Check it out available HERE on Amazon.

Registering was easy, and I got in the mail just a small cardboard box that contained a key as well as a direct url link to where I could access the course online and finally an 8 gig USB device that is solid metal, featuring a hole so I can attach it to my keys and (hopefully) never lose it. It asked for my name, my username, the code, my phone number, and e-mail address. If you get stuck there is a how-to video on the registration page, which shows you exactly how to fill out all the information.

The site then sent me an e-mail confirming the registration.

The course set up is similar to my husbands, with dates that tests will be available, and I have already set the dates of my tests in my planner, with the dates spreading out to May. The whole course includes creating 3 games, and it is suggested that you do NOT use internet explorer with the course, as it can tend to block the javascript. Chrome, Firefox and Safari are recommended.

At first it seems daunting, and I actually had to put it down for a couple hours and prepare myself mentally by psyching myself up a bit.  After all people, it has been a number of years since I graduated, and I will be one of the first to admit that I wasn't a very good student. However, after a few lessons in (the first one is nice and easy with a fun little 'drag and drop' activity), it is easy to get into the swing of things. It helps you download the coding program you will need (uses Sublime Text) but it also makes it clear that you can use your own program if you already has one.

I am going to keep you updated as I go through the course, and let you know if I do well on quizzes as well. Fingers crossed, this Mama is hopefully gonna learn something!

- Prairie

Disclaimer: I did receive this item at a discount in exchange for doing the course and giving an honest review on it. This will be a multiple piece review, and all opinions are my own.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Yummi Gear Divided Lunchbox Review (wip)

Rating: 4/5
Maker: Yummi Gear

These bright coloured divided containers with deep set lids so it certainly keeps everything separated from other items. This especially works well for finicky things to seperate such as gravy or a pudding. The seal is great and when I tipped the containers liquid did not appear to move from one compartment to another. This is great, but it makes it very difficult to open. I sent a packed snack in it for my daughter to play group, and the lids are so tight that my daughter could not open her snack, nor could the play group organizer. The same seal could be found with a soft silicone in the lid, as opposed to just the hard, sharp edged plastic lid. Because it was so hard to open and the edges of the container were sharp enough to actually hurt when cleaning the lid and running my hand over it.

I received this item at a discount in exchange for an honest review. This does not guarantee a high ranking review.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sumpri Ice Molds

Rating: 5/5

These are fun ice molds that can be used for so much more. I really liked using the large square ice cube molds for freezing my home made condensed chicken stock with different herbs for flavours, before throwing them in baggies and storing them for future use. When I lent them to my brother, a chef, he used them for making compound butters for his dishes (a few in particular really yummy ones were a Herbs de Provence butter, and a Rosemary Mint butter), because of how easy it is to pop them out for using in cooking, or even as a nice flavoured butter on a fresh bread. Ice cube holders certainly are no longer just for ice.

As for the round spheres? I always thought they were difficult to make, but I was happy to see how easy it was, and how simple to make nice smooth round 'ice spheres' to decorate any drink. I loved how I could show family members that in the right glass (used a martini glass), it spun as the drink was poured in, increasing what little showmanship I have for entertaining. I do like also that with the fact that the ice in in a sphere it doesn't chip as easier, meaning it doesn't seem to water down drinks as quickly, which was certainly nice. Storing the spheres, I found best to put them in a tupperware container in the freezer, because let's face it, six is not enough for a party.

As for the structure of the ice molds, I would say they are stable, and well made. They are a silicone blend (pinch/pull test revealed this), which makes them a bit more sturdy than just straight silicone. No signs of tearing, permanent stretching or wear when worked to see how far it bends/stretches. For someone who is looking to entertain, I would recommend these, and for anyone who is looking to make compounds for future cooking, I really suggest the large cube mold.

As always I received this item at a discount in exchange for an honest review. This does not guarantee a high ranking review.

- Prairie

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Portable Foldable Wine Bottle (2 Pack) Review

Rating: 5/5
Maker: Wine Anytime

I had to test this over several days, Mainly because well, I couldn't rightly test this with water. This is a great concept, and I love the fact that it rolls up into something that can fit in my pocket, and I can leave my bottles at home. This will work especially well when making my on wine, as buying wine bottles can get a little expensive, especially so not to offend the host as to take empties home. Seems like an unwritten rule that the host gets the cash from the empties, in my circle of friends. But when making your own wine, and wanting to purchase the bottles once yourself, it is nice to have a set.

This product does fit a whole 750ml bottle of wine as it claims and it doesn't leak once the lid is fully turned on. Cleaning it was a breeze. I used actual red wine as well, wanting to see if it stained. Filled it with hot water, shook it a few times and dumped it, and it removed most of the red wine. I did have to really shake the container with hot water a few times, but it did come completely clean.

My only downside is the only way to see what wine is in it (red vs white) is to turn it upside down, or to write on the actual bag. I would suggest a clear strip running down the back, to be able to easily identify what is in the reusable wine bottle.

I received this product at a discount in exchange for an honest review. This does not guarantee a high ranking review.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

MeterTeck Multimeter Review

Rating: 4/5
Maker: Meterteck

This meter may be suitable for home hobby use. Best use is checking battery voltage and light bulb or fuse continuity. If you only have occasional use for a multimeter, then this one will do the job. I like the back light. If you are checking for a burnt out light bulb, in the dark, then the backlight is a nice feature.

The continuity test also has a high pitched audible, so you do not have to actually see the screen to know if your fuse or light bulb is burnt out. It has a separate battery compartment, accessible with a #1 Phillips screwdriver. Be careful not to over tighten the screw, as is is only threaded into plastic, and will strip. The battery is connected by the manufacturer, so you should check it for leakage prior to use.

Although the capacitance feature is nice to have, it will probably never be used. Most serious electronic hobbyists will opt for a more expensive meter. The manufacturer has a website, with additional information. There is a page for registering your warranty, however, warranty details and terms are not actually shown.

It was pointed out to me that the meter carries no visible model or serial number. I was also made aware that this meter has no UL or CSA certification, so I cannot suggest it for trade or commercial use.

Back light feature with 30sec delay to dim.
Hold switch keeps reading until released.
Comes with two sets of leads.
Easy access to battery replacement. Requires #1 Phillips screwdriver.
Capacitance feature.
Manufacturer has a website for warranty registration and contact information.

No UL or CSA certification.
Self tapping screw for battery compartment screws into plastic case and there is a risk of over tightening the screw, causing the threads to strip.
No information on actual terms of the warranty.
No protection for low impact, the case will crack if dropped.
Ships with battery installed, and may be subject to leakage during long term storage in the vendor's warehouse.

I received this item at a discount/free in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, January 8, 2016

LiLove Waist Trainer

Rating: 5/5
Maker: Xena

Hey everyone! I have a product that I want to share with you. I was lucky enough to work with a company on Amazon to test one of their products: 

             a Latex Steel Boned Waist Trainer 

I have owned corsets in the past, from simply plastic boned to stiff as a board steel bone. This is certainly a happy compromise. Still steel bone, but done in a way that it moves with you and is flexible, yet stiff enough to remind you to stay upright. The feel of the waist trainer is sort of like Neoprene. It has a natural latex core, with the liner being 96% cotton, making it comfortable to wear. It comes in a great little bag that is breathable with it's cloth back, so works great for storage when not using it either.

I had no problem putting this on (as I stated though, I have previous experience with waist cinchers and corsets), in fact this was really easy, starting at the top, beneath my breasts, down to the bottom. There are three settings for the hooks, depending on your level and size. Having ordered a medium, I first tried the 3rd level hook (biggest) as I haven't been this size all that long, and am still learning where I fit on the size charts of things. The third level was no problem, making it feel as though I just had a snug, heavy shirt on. The second level is where I felt the support, and when moving around, could feel it correcting my posture, as well as working my muscles. The tightest (while doable for me) is where I really feel everything being compacted, and could only do it for a short period of time (20 minutes) as I have not worn this type of garment in some time. As for the length of the corset, I have a rather short torso and long legs, resulting in it being a touch to long, just meaning I have to sit up straighter and stand taller. So not entirely a bad thing?

 For those who have not worn a waist trainer, or a corset, it is important that you remember not to wear it right away on the tightest, or for long periods of time. This can be damaging to your health. Please, start with small periods of time (20-30 minutes) on the most comfortable setting so you can get used to holding your posture correctly, and moving and bending in the waist trainer. Then, slowly as you build up your muscles, build up your time. Previously, I was able to wear one on the tightest setting for several hours at a time, but that is due to the fact of having built up the muscles.

What I like about this waist trainer is that I can wear it under clothes, and it is virtually invisible. Under my 50's style dress that I got for Christmas (thanks Hubs!), it didn't show at all. However, under a tight fitting T-shirt it did show a touch, but not enough for anyone to notice unless staring directly at me. Overall, this is great. I suggest it to anyone who is starting to look at trying to start using a waist trainer for either posture, or figure purposes, as well as it looks great and photographes well for anyone who is looking to use one for a cosplay purpose.

I did receive this free/at a discount in exchange for my unbiased opinion and personal experience with this product. This does not guarantee a high rating in any way

- Prairie